Thursday, April 17, 2008


A number of people in the media have contacted me in search of opposition to incorporation, in an attempt to balance their stories. I've told them all I'm in the same boat, looking for someone who will go on record to make a case against.

Nobody has found one yet.

This does not mean there is no real opposition. The kind of opposition that should be feared is the kind that has a lot of money, and specializes in last-minute "hit-piece" mailings with no opportunity for discussion. For example, there could be a flood of postcards sent in the week before an election making all kinds of dubious if not outright misleading statements. Those involved in the public debate might have no opportunity to rebut falsehood, and those sending such mail would have purposely hidden their existence and specifics of their objections in the run-up. Indeed, the true motivations might easily remain completely hidden. They can throw out specious flash-point arguments to make a stink. This isn't what I'd call credible, but it can, sadly, be very effective.

If I am thinking about who might produce this kind of effective opposition, completely within constitutional rights to participate in a political process, there are very few possibilities. They include those with (a) access to money; (b) a perception of financial threat from incorporation; (c) a willingness to throw (a) against (b) to achive a more favorable result.

The bottom line, to me, seems to be control of development and re-development. Therefore, those with threatened financial interests are property owners and developers who see risk to their investments, or limits on their opportunities being imposed. Those owners and developers who would have enough at risk in Alamo would be owners of -large- parcels, and those who'd want to develop those large parcels.

Identifying potential opposition seems as simple as looking at a tax-map and seeing who owns or controls large property whose development opportunity might be restricted by the Town, perhaps through a new general plan. There aren't that many large undeveloped parcels in town.

I don't know if the people involved with in-fill (re-)development would feel as motivated to nudge the political process their way through funding of hit-piece mail. They might vote against incorporation, but I don't know that they'd pay for an operation to significantly affect the result.

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